Profiles
It’s no surprise Dave Housman disliked his career in computer science, considering it was a far cry from the pizzaiolo life that beckoned in the background.
Madanto pizzeria lies nestled in the heart of the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood of Toronto, its colourful storefront facing a shopping hub and movie theatre.
A poor location and limited restaurant experience sounds like a combo destined for disaster. This is exactly the predicament Jeff Hughes, an ordained minister, found himself in after relocating from Ontario to the Maritimes to be closer to his wife’s family and children’s grandparents. A conversation with a landlord turned into an offer to buy a pizzeria – one that had had three owners in the past five years. The pizza store is the third restaurant to occupy the site in Riverview, N.B. Still, Hughes took his vision for Diesel Pizza & Wings and jumped in.
Authentic seems to be the current darling of restaurant trends but, for many establishments, it’s easier said than done. After all, does it really make sense to serve wine in tumblers and adorn the table with paper napkins if customers don’t have ample context to appreciate the gesture? What if your market relies on a significant number of international tourists? Through what lens will they view authentic? It can be a challenging balance to strike, but for The Grand Pizzeria and Bar in Ottawa, Ont., it’s a matter of heart, mind and appetite.
Combine two food lovers with a passion for pizza and a market thick with world-renowned dining options and one might argue that opening a pizzeria is ill-advised. Pizzeria Prima Strada’s owners, Geoffrey and Cristen DeCarolis Dallas, noticed some “white space” in a Victoria, B.C., culinary scene sorely lacking an authentic neighborhood pizzeria. The Dallas’ envisioned a place you can walk to with your family and friends and have a great food experience. They set about creating a warm, inviting environment where patrons could see their food being made and enjoy an authentic Italian experience that celebrated the best in local ingredients.
In a fast-paced world of instant gratification and corporate domination, Dimitri Neonakis’ successful throw-back to the family-oriented pizza business demonstrates that the old charm of the ma and pa pizza store is alive and well.
There’s construction mayhem on the stretch of street running past Marcello’s Pizzeria – heavy machinery, barricades, traffic backed up. In 2005 the city of Toronto began working on a new rapid transit line running through a stretch of St. Clair West
It was 1981: The infancy of an era marked by Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, keyboard synthesizers, big hair and bigger recessions, also marked a new life for Samira and Nash Shariff. Toting their two boys, Naheed and Faisel, the Shariff’s left the east African country of Kenya for Edmonton. Twenty-eight years later the family has passed the 25 year milestone with Boston Pizza as the franchisees of four locations worth $15 million.
It was with great honour that I attended this year’s World Pizza Championship games in Italy as a judge for the pizza baking competitions. The oldest and the largest of world pizza games, this event attracts the most international contenders. For the past three years I’ve been a competitor, so when I was invited to be a judge I thought it would be interesting to see the games from the other side of the table, not to mention a huge honour and feather in my cap.
Nestled on the pebbly pristine northern shores of Lake Superior, the remote Ontario town of Marathon is an unsuspecting candidate for regular live music rock-outs. Thanks to the husband and wife team of Beverlee and Andrew Coulter, owners of the local Pizza Hut, the folks who call Marathon home can look forward to weekly bands on Wednesdays for all of July and August.
There’s something about boats and water that draws crowds, says Terry Radey. Each summer, the Ontario businessman watches some 200,000 people find their way down to a quiet little spot on the Trent-Severn Waterway to watch pleasure craft cruise up to Lock 34 in Fenelon Falls.
THIRD PLACE: Stephen Goddard, Pomodori
But pizza wasn’t always the plan. Stankiewicz found himself working in someone else’s pizza shop in the mid-’90s, a far cry from his original pursuit of car design. “I think the kitchen was the last place on my mind,” he says in retrospect.
Do you have the best pizza in Canada? Now is the time to show us your stuff. The Canadian Pizza magazine’s Chef of the Year contest is on and we’re looking for your entry. Send us your favourite recipe plus a 100 word explanation on why your pizza deserves to be the best.
September 17th, 2008, marked the opening of the first Papa John’s pizza franchise in Ontario. Located in Belleville, this is the company’s inaugural attempt at breaking into the lucrative pizza trade in the country’s most populous province.

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